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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Cambridge Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper SeriesThe Faculty has published Volume 8 Number 13 of the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series on SSRN.

This issue includes the following articles:

Kenneth Armstrong: Implementing Transition: Legal and Political Limits (50/2017)

The United Kingdom Government is looking to negotiate an interim framework for cooperation with the European Union. This framework will apply in the period between the UK’s exit from the EU and the agreement of a more comprehensive deal between the UK and the EU. The aim of this technical paper is to explore in more detail the legal and political limits to the creation of an interim framework. A key legal issue is the extent to which an interim framework can be negotiated within the scope of the Article 50 withdrawal process.

The paper considers four options:

  • A ‘stand-still’ transition.
  • A ‘provisional’ trade or association agreement.
  • Deferred departure.
  • Interim membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and use of its European Economic Area Agreement (EEA) with the EU.

Anna L. Christie: Hedge Fund Activism and the Market for Corporate Quasi-Control (51/2016)

Activist hedge funds increasingly seek and secure board representation in public companies. Representation on target boards may signal a longer-term commitment to target companies that can mitigate some of the typical criticisms of traditional hedge fund activism, such as short-termism. Hedge funds may hold shares for longer periods when they obtain board seats and often become heavily involved in corporate strategy and operations. This article argues that the phenomenon of activist board representation has created an active market for corporate quasi-control, defined as power that is greater than influence but that falls short of actual corporate control. It also discusses recent innovations in activist tactics which can promote the market for corporate quasi-control such as ‘wolf pack activism’, where more than one hedge fund descends upon a company, and ‘golden leash’ compensation structures, which incentivise activist appointed directors to increase the share price of target companies.

Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan: The Private International Law of Access and Benefit-Sharing Contracts (52/2017)

This paper considers the public – private international law interplay in the context of access and benefit-sharing (ABS) for genetic resources (GRs) and associated traditional knowledge (TK). The public international ABS framework, primarily via the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Nagoya Protocol, obliges contracting parties to ensure that access to GRs and TK is based on prior informed consent (PIC) and based on mutually agreed terms (MAT), and that benefits arising out of the utilization of GRs and TK are shared. This public law framework however leaves it to private ordering via ABS contracts between providers and users to determine the nature and scope of benefit-sharing. And while the public law framework sets out a basic ‘enforcement’ structure for ensuring that access is based on PIC and that MAT have been established, enforcing benefit-sharing commitments in ABS contracts is up to providers and users, relying on private law mechanisms. Because of the cross-border nature of most of the provider-user relations, enforcing ABS contracts raises complex questions on the jurisdiction of courts or arbitration tribunals, applicable law, and the enforcement of judgments or arbitral awards. This paper reviews these private international law questions in light of the normative guidance the public international law ABS framework offers.

Lorand Bartels & Tibisay Morgandi: Options for the Legal Form of a WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies (53/2017)

New rules to discipline harmful fisheries subsidies are a crucial contribution that members of the World Trade Organization could make towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Buoyed by the 2030 Agenda’s specific target 14.6, which references the talks, negotiations have intensified with the aim of achieving an outcome on the issue at the WTO’s ministerial conference in December 2017. This reference paper examines a range of options for the legal form of disciplines on fisheries subsidies within the framework of the WTO.


Interested readers can browse the Working Paper Series at SSRN, or sign up to subscribe to distributions of the the e-journal.